Weightifters dominate Sports Awards

The sport of weightlifting swept the awards ceremony on Saturday night taking out three categories as well as the Sportsperson of the Year. 

Vapaiva Nevo Ioane won Sportsperson of the Year for his outstanding feats at the Olympic Games and his performances in weightlifting at other tournaments. 

It was a well deserved and popular win for his outstanding performance at the Olympic Games as well as his service to Samoa through his ongoing sports achievements.  

But the young weightlifter was initially shocked when his name was called for the most prestigious prize because he had thought that it would go to rugby player, Fa’alemiga Selesele.  

However, Ioane is a champion in his own right and accepted the award humbly.  

While Ioane has roots in Tulalele, he was originally from American Samoa.  

He said that his dad, who is currently in American Samoa, was his biggest motivation growing up.  He instilled in him a strong work ethic from a very young age that helped make him the man he is today.  

He cites fellow weightlifter and Olympian, Ele Opeloge as his role model.  

Although Lupesoliai La’aulimaleitoa  Joseph Parker did not attend the event, he addressed the crowd via video and congratulated all the nominees for a job well done.

The sport of Powerlifting was also prominent in the award ceremony on the night while rugby great  Muliagatele Brian Lima was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award. 


1. Junior Sportswoman of the Year 

• Elenor Schuster, Tennis

2. Junior Sportsman of the Year

• Don Opeloge, Weightlifting

3. Senior Sportswoman of the Year

• Matile Sitagata, Powerlifting

4. Senior Sportsman of the Year

• Vaipava Nevo Ioane, Weightlifting

5. Empowered Athlete with Disability of the Year

• Petelo Evile, Special Olympics Samoa

6. Sports Administrator of the Year

• Tagaloa Fouina Su’a, Rugby League

7. Coach of the Year

• Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, Weightlifting

8. Manager of the Year

• Pepe Fia’ailetoa Christian Fruean, Powerlifting

9. Team of the Year

• Manu Samoa Sevens – Paris Champions

10. Lifetime Achievement Awards

• Muliagatele Brian Lima, Manu Samoa 15’s

11. Sports Body of the Year

• Samoa International Cricket

12. Overall Sports Person of the Year 

• Vaipava Nevo Ioane, Weightlifting

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